It took me more than three hours by taxi to get from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport to the centre of town. My Bulgarian friend, Ivan Krastev, a shrewd political analyst, describes the difference between Russia and the Soviet Union as one between traffic jams and queues. Queues were tedious, freezing in winter, but sometimes convivial. Traffic jams are just as tedious, warmer, but often lonely. Compared with the last time I was here, in 2001, I notice more ethnic diversity in the streets: dark Middle Eastern-looking faces from the Caucasus, Chinese-looking people from the various Asian republics, an area which a well known American expert once described as Trashcanistan. Moscow is a magnet for poor migrants, legal and illegal.